Former treasurer Boyce denies involvement in pay-to-play scheme

COLUMBUS, Ohio (WCMH)–Former Ohio Treasurer Kevin Boyce adamantly denied any involvement in a 2010 pay-to-play scheme orchestrated by former Deputy Treasurer Amer Ahmad.

A document released last week by the Securities and Exchange Commission suggests Boyce attended a meeting during which Ahmad discussed the scheme with representatives of a bank seeking to obtain lucrative state contracts.

“At no time, at no time was I ever at any type of meeting as described by the SEC in that complaint,” Boyce said.

Ahmad was indicted, convicted and sentenced for collecting kickbacks and campaign contributions in exchange for steering state contracts to State Street Bank and Trust Company.

Attorney Larry James says that if the FBI or the U.S. Attorney had found evidence that Boyce participated in the criminal activity, they would have charged him.

“They went and examined every possible angle of a pay to play scheme,” James said. “There was no stone left unturned.”

James says Boyce was interviewed several times by the FBI and voluntarily appeared before a federal grand jury. James says he has asked the U.S. Attorney’s Office for a letter that clears Boyce’s name.

The SEC announced last week that State Street bank and Trust Company had agreed to pay $12 million to settle charges related to the pay-to-play scheme. The SEC investigation found the bank made illicit cash payments and political campaign contributions and received three lucrative state contracts.

Documents filed as part of the SEC agreement detail a meeting on March 3, 2010, “attended by the incumbent Treasurer, Ahmad” several bank representatives, “and the incumbent Treasurer’s chief fundraiser.” “At the meeting, Ahmad demanded that State Street make direct monetary contributions to the incumbent Treasurer’s campaign.”

NBC4 obtained records from the state treasurer’s office that indicate Boyce was scheduled to attend a meeting that day with Ahmad, his political fundraiser and a lobbyist working for State Street Bank.

Boyce insists he never attended such a meeting.

“Had I been in that kind of meeting and something like that started, not only would I have shut that down immediately but Amer would have been fired and it’s that simple,” Boyce said.

Boyce currently serves in the Ohio House of Representatives. He is running for Franklin County Commissioner.

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